An open letter to Jeph Loeb
I first saw your name, sir, it had been attached to one of the best
“young” Batman books to ever hit my shelf. Then you delivered to me a Superman For All Seasons. And to find your run on the Challengers of the Unknown?
Oy, how awesome it was! When friends would name drop their favorite
creators, I was quick to say your name. I mean, for Rao’s sake… you
helped create Teen Wolf, and to a much lesser degree, Teen Wolf Too!
And as the decade began, you gave us Dark Victory. I remember finishing
the series with just the slightest hint of bitter aftertaste in my
throat. Had you “gone to the well” too quickly, to deliver something
too much like The Long Halloween? Nay. Nay I said.
Without fail, the hype machine forced my young and malleable mind to commit to Batman: Hush.
And why not? It had Jim Lee! Drawing every Bat Villain! Superman and
Batman Fighting! A possible Jason Todd resurrection! Catwoman’s boobs!
Man, you sure got me. I bought every issue with mindless fervor. One
year later… the mystery ended, and there it was again, Jeph. That
strange… bitter taste… telling me something didn’t sit quite right
in my gut. But hey, the sales figures said otherwise, right?
Not long after that, the hype machine whispered in my ear again.
“Superman/Batman…” it cooed
so smoothly. So, once again, my money was placed (with trepidation mind
you), and issues were purchased. And what did you deliver? Lex Luthor
hopped up on kryptonite laced venom! A Batman/Superman Composite Robot,
built by a 13 year old Amadeus Cho
Toyman, made to punch a kryptonite asteroid! Mythical Future Supermen
acting as “deus ex machina”, whenever the story choked! And to follow
up that car-wreck of a story? You brought back Kara Zor-El, a much
beloved character who died in the first crisis! Kudos to you. How did
you do that? Well, I guess you just said “Poof. There she is. Oh… but
maybe she’s evil now. Suckers.” Lucky for us though, our sweetheart
ended up in better hands… just a few issues arcs months
years later. After that cavalcade of crapulence, what did you follow up
with? How about an alternate-earth-still-in-continuity evil Superman
and Batman raised by the Legion of Super Villains (to this day, has not
been re-retconned away by Geoff Johns, much to our chagrin)! I swear,
with each issue I bought, it was like visiting my crazy ex for a booty
call. I mean I know it was BAD for me, but you know… even cold pizza
is good pizza right? RIGHT?
But, hey, you can’t hit it out of the
park every time, slugger.
So, it was 2008, time had passed… you were
connected to that awesome Heroes show that everyone seemed to be digging… and I’d just finished reading World War Hulk,
and was actually pretty darn impressed with Greg Pak’s green-tinted
blockbuster. Jeph Loeb? Doing a Hulk series? A big mystery? Sure… why
not. Everyone deserves a second chance. Or a third. Or a fourth. I’d
lost count… but not faith. Money traded for issue after issue of
HULK… and there I was, at the end of the EPIC SIXTH ISSUE… after
the 4,976th major fight scene… after the 29,752nd splash page…
after the 1,927,846th overly muscled punch rendering… with no more
information really than I had six issues ago! All there was left in the
wake of the hundred of bubble-muscled pages was Uatu with a black eye,
Rick “A-Hole Bomb”
Jones, and the Red Hulk. It made that bitter taste come rush back, this
time, hotter… like heartburn after one too many 3 AM tacos.
And like the crazy fanboy masochist that I am, I even bought Ultimates 3. The spite I feel for those issues is still too new in my blood. It’s not allowing the hatewords formulating in my angerbrain to come out of my spitefingers.
If Atrocitus offered me a red ring, the only growl I could let rip from
my bearded maw would be “LOEB!” before a waterfall of acidic bile
rained down my chin. So, I wipe my slate clean of you Mr. Loeb, even if your hype wagon is chugging hard to plug 2010’s “Ultimate X”. I hear you’re dropping names like “Superman For All Seasons”, and “The Long Halloween”… But nay, nay I say. You’ve done enough damage. And after killing off most of the Ultimate Universe, you think it’s time to do a sad weepy mystery book?
But take it to heart, Jeph, if it’s
your only resolution for 2010 sir, I pray you resolve to take some time
to find your real roots again.
Teen Wolf : Menage a Claw can’t be that far off now, can it?